During the Popcorn Frights Film Festival, Proyas showed Mask of the Evil Apparition, a short film based in the world of the thriller movie. Speaking at a panel afterward, as covered by Bloody Disgusting, he dropped the news that more is in development. “Dark City right now is really an intriguing one to me because we’re developing a series, a Dark City series which we’re in the very early stages of,” he said. “I’m having to re-analyse in order to construct a new story. I’m having to go back and kind of jog my memory as to what we actually did and what I think worked and what I think didn’t work and reevaluate my own film.”
Relased in 1998, Dark City is a strange, neo-noir adventure movie about a man, John Murdoch, who wakes up in the same hotel room as a murdered woman with no recollections of what happened. He’s subsequently pursued by the Strangers, ghost-white men in trenchcoats who turn out to be aliens, and this is all part of some psychokinetic experiment. Oh, and there’s no sunlight in the city, hence the title.
Coming out the year before The Matrix, with a similar premise, means Dark City never quite caught on. In 2008, Proyas released a director’s cut, and he discusses the process of trying to make his film into something more appealing.
“You know, it tested very poorly and I was forced to do certain things I didn’t agree with and we made good to a certain extent in the director’s cut, because you couldn’t completely re-salvage it,” he explained. “The whole point of a director’s cut is the illusion that we re-salvage what we’ve done originally, but you can never do that. Often it’s just impossible. In those days we shot on neg and the negs being cut. And its been cut in a certain way and it’s very, very hard to go right back to what you originally designed. So you do like a hodgepodge version of it.”
Proyas found major success in the early ’90s by directing the gothic action movie The Crow. He’s sporadically made films since, notable highlights being will Smith vehicle I, Robot in 2004, and Gods of Egypt in 2016.
We don’t know when we can watch Mask of the Evil Apparition, or when we’ll get back to Dark City, but we’ll keep you informed. Here’s the best sci-fi series for more spacey goodness.